the Beauty and the Best – The Hunger

An excerpt of a story I worked on last year; this scene takes place about half-way through the story.

At dinner, Rose has refused the Beast's request to be his for the third time; in terror of reprisal, Rose fled back to her room.

In the rising tide of his hunger, Lord Beast’s growl was low and constant and it sent all of the servants standing in front of Rose’s door fleeing down the passageway; all but one, that is, for a lone boy, a young stable hand, remained shaking in front of the oak door that marked the entrance to Rose’s room.

Lord Beast reached back to knock the boy aside, the massive knot of muscles along his right arm tensing under a dark coat of his fur, but he read the terror in the boy's eyes and hesitated, a slender thread of humanity winding a path through the dark cloud of red. "Boy," came the growl through the Beast's clenched teeth, "Move or die."

"No M'lord…you c-cannot, not like this," said the boy, his terror driving his voice an octave higher as he cringed against the door. 

"You will move." said the Beast, "You will move, or you will die."

The boy quavered, tears leaking from his frightened blue eyes, but his trembling ten year old frame did not move; it was entirely possible that, in his fear, moving was a feat he was no longer capable of. "Y-you mustn't, M'lord, you mustn't."

The last of Lord Beast's patience vanished, "She will live. Beyond that," Beast said, plucking the boy up by the back of his dirty shirt and tossing him, not ungently, to the side, "I give no promises."

Resting a large hand on the oak door, Lord Beast pushed it open. Rose was sitting on the edge of her bed, face obscured by her long midnight hair; at the sight of her, the Beast's hunger erased all remaining thoughts of mercy; a coil made of the tightly fused threads of anger and desire twisted through him as he crossed the space to her bed in a haze of crimson.

For a long minute, Lord Beast stood towering over her diminutive form in silence.

Rose did not look up.

"Rose."

There was no answer.

"Rose!"

Silence.

"ROSE!" His roar shook the very bed she sat upon, and yet she still did not move. Hand trembling in anger, Beast placed a single finger under her chin and tilted it up. There were tears in her eyes, rivers of fear that dripped over her chin and into her lap where her hands were clasped tightly.

Her eyes, shiny and bright with trepidation, met his.

"What makes you think you have a choice?" he asked.

Beast watched her skin pale, only to flush red a moment later. She lowered her eyes, and his large hand went to her cheek, tracing the rosy glow.

"I don't." She spoke reluctantly, unsure.

“No,” the Beast said, “You don’t.”

4 Responses to “the Beauty and the Best – The Hunger”

  1. Elspeth Says:

    Ah, Beauty and the Beast. *laughs softly* When I was a girl and beyond it was my very favorite fairytale — forget Cinderella. I only wanted the Beast.

    Should have known.

  2. Auor Says:

    In high school, we were given an assignment to re-write a fairy tale from any character’s point of view. One boy took the prince’s view in Cinderella. The teacher gave him an A — but forbade him to show anyone the story because it was R rated.

    I still wonder how the story read, sometimes.

  3. pnthrkitty Says:

    *sigh* I always wondered why she ran from the Beast. Some things show true even in early life I guess. Ahhh it makes me think of early days and wax nostalgic. YUM

  4. donna Says:

    Just wondering if “The Beauty and the Best-the Hunger”, the whole story, is available somewhere

Leave a Reply